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DeJong_Phengite Age: Fluids, Submicroscopic Illitization, Excess Argon & Laser Probe Dating (Betics, Spain)_Chemical Geology 2001

DeJong_Phengite Age: Fluids, Submicroscopic Illitization, Excess Argon & Laser Probe Dating (Betics, Spain)_Chemical Geology 2001

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Published by Koen de Jong
In this attempt to modernise geochronology (Igor Villa) HRTEM permitted to interpret aberrant Ar/Ar data by syn-tectonic submicroscopic illitization of high-pressure metamorphic phengite due to the interaction of fluids with hot rocks during their fast tectonic exhumation by late Miocene extension. Samples taken only a few metres apart may differ in age by as much as 50 Ma; a grain that was split over the basal plane yielded plateau ages for each half that differ by 12%. The huge variation in plateau ages, ranging from 16 to 90 Ma, on these different scales is explained by heterogeneous excess argon incorporation during the fluid-mediated illitization of the phengite.
♥ REVIEWER’S COMMENT: a careful piece of interdisciplinary detective work with groundbreaking geological consequences (Simon Kelley)
In this attempt to modernise geochronology (Igor Villa) HRTEM permitted to interpret aberrant Ar/Ar data by syn-tectonic submicroscopic illitization of high-pressure metamorphic phengite due to the interaction of fluids with hot rocks during their fast tectonic exhumation by late Miocene extension. Samples taken only a few metres apart may differ in age by as much as 50 Ma; a grain that was split over the basal plane yielded plateau ages for each half that differ by 12%. The huge variation in plateau ages, ranging from 16 to 90 Ma, on these different scales is explained by heterogeneous excess argon incorporation during the fluid-mediated illitization of the phengite.
♥ REVIEWER’S COMMENT: a careful piece of interdisciplinary detective work with groundbreaking geological consequences (Simon Kelley)

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Published by: Koen de Jong on Jun 11, 2011
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Ž .
Chemical Geology 178 2001 159–195www.elsevier.com
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locate
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chemgeo
Excess argon incorporation in phengite of the Mulhacen
´
Complex: submicroscopic illitization and fluid ingress during lateMiocene extension in the Betic Zone, south-eastern Spain
K. de Jong
a,
)
, G. Feraud
b
, G. Ruffet
b
, M. Amouric
c
, J.R. Wijbrans
d
´
a
Geology Department, Geological Sur 
Õ
ey of Japan, Higashi 1-1-3, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8567, Japan
b
CNRS, UMR 6526 Geosciences Azur, Uni
Õ
ersite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice Cedex 02, France
´ ´
c
Centre de Recherche sur les Mecanismes de la Croissance Cristalline, CNRS, Campus Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France
´
d
 Argon Laserprobe Laboratory, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Netherlands Reseach School of Sedimentary Geology, Vrije Uni
Õ
ersiteit, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Received 16 November 1999; accepted 25 October 2000
Abstract
40
Ar
r
39
Ar induction furnace and laser step-heating of well-crystallised post-tectonic phengitic mica single grains from
Ž .
gneisses of the Mulhacen Complex with an early Alpine tectonic fabric has resulted in: 1 highly scattered integrated ages,
´
Ž . Ž .
39
2 an abnormally high atmospheric contamination and 3 often anomalously old apparent ages during early Ar release that
36 37
Ž
40
.
is associated with a high Ar and Ar contamination. This low-temperature excess argon Ar component is
AIR Ca XS
probably released from carbonate formed during slight alteration of the mica. More than 50% of the samples yielded plateauages ranging from 15.8
"
0.4 to 90.1
"
1.0 Ma. Samples taken only a few metres apart may differ in age by as much as 50Ma; a grain that was split over the basal plane yielded plateau ages for each half that differ by 12%. The age variation onthese different scales is explained by heterogeneous
40
Ar incorporation during a period with a high transient partial argon
XS
pressure in the metamorphic fluid, resulting from a late stage reheating event. The very swift cooling of 50–100
8
C
r
Maduring exhumation of the Mulhacen Complex concomitant with late Miocene extension may have prevented the equilibration
´
of different
40
Ar levels in the mica.
XS
HRTEM images of the oldest and youngest phengite specimens show that at least 20% of the lattice is affected bysubmicroscopic illitisation, which is concentrated in several micrometer wide zones and veins that cross-cut the basalcleavage. These are made up of aggregates of 0.07–0.30
m
m thick crystallites of three illitic micas types, which arechemically and structurally progressively closer to pure illite and occur in different textures. The oldest specimen is affected
Ž .
most severely as the veins contain newly formed pseudo illite that does not inherit its crystallographic orientation andchemistry from the host mica, in contrast to the youngest sample. HRTEM–AEM analyses revealed that phengite and thedifferent illitic micas may be depleted in K. The oldest sample is derived from a coarse-grained augen gneiss withextensively developed hydraulic cracks, which are lacking in the youngest sample, a fine-grained mylonitic gneiss.
)
Corresponding author. Tel.:
q
81-298-61-3661; fax:
q
81-298-61-3653.
Ž .
 E-mail address:
koen@gsjrstn.gsj.go.jp K. de Jong .0009-2541
r
01
r
$ - see front matter
q
2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Ž .
PII: S0009-2541 00 00411-3
 
( )K. de Jong et al.
r
Chemical Geology 178 2001 159–195
160
Fluid–rock interaction and consequently sub-microscopic illitization were therefore more intense in the coarser-grainedrocks. Growth of the illitic micas in equilibrium with a high partial
40
Ar pressure could account for
40
Ar incorporation in
XS
K-vacancies and other lattice imperfections. Variation in illitisation and associated textural dissimilarities between the oldestand youngest mica permit the different levels of 
40
Ar incorporation that account for the observed age discordance.
XS
The finding of 
40
Ar plateau ages, despite the degassing of intimately intergrown micaceous minerals, is interpreted by
XS
gas release invoked by in-vacuo chemical and structural changes that led to a joint collapse of the lattices of phengite and theillitic micas between 800
8
C and 1000
8
C.
q
2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
40
Ar
r
39
Ar dating; Excess argon; Illite; Phengite; TEM; Hydraulic fractures
1. Introduction
Although phengite from high-pressure terrainsseem to be able to give meaningful
40
Ar
r
39
Ar plateauages, the last decade has seen a long series of papers
Ž
40
.
that show excess argon Ar incorporation by the
XS
Ž
mineral de Jong et al., 1993; Tonarini et al., 1993;Li et al., 1994; Arnaud and Kelley, 1995; Hannulaand McWilliams, 1995, Ruffet et al., 1995, 1997;Inger et al., 1996; Reddy et al., 1996; Scaillet, 1996;
. Ž .
Sherlock et al., 1999 . Previously, Brewer 1969
Ž .
and Reymer 1979 showed that K–Ar ages of whitemica may be significantly older than the correspond-ing Rb–Sr ages, hinting at the presence of 
40
Ar in
XS
Ž .
the mineral. de Jong et al. 1993 , Tonarini et al.
Ž . Ž . Ž .
1993 , Li et al. 1994 , Inger et al. 1996 , Ruffet et
Ž . Ž .
al. 1997 and Sherlock et al. 1999 proposed that
40
Ar
r
39
Ar plateau ages that are significantly olderthan the age results on the same mica by Sm–Nd,U–Pb and Rb–Sr dating methods reflect uptake of 
40
Ar by white mica, as these isotopic systems are
XS
supposed to have higher closure temperatures thanthe K–Ar system. On the other hand, Monie and
´
Ž .
Chopin 1991 argued that in the case of coesite-bearing samples such a reversal might indicate thatthe closure temperature for Ar diffusion in white
Ž .
Fig. 1. Tectonic map of the eastern Betic Cordilleras, modified after de Jong 1993a . The sampling area in the eastern Sierra de los Filabres
´
Ž .
Fig. 3 is indicated.
 
( )K. de Jong et al.
r
Chemical Geology 178 2001 159–195
161
mica might be occasionally higher than the classic
Ž .
estimate see also Dahl, 1996 . Several types of irregularities in white mica age spectra have been
40
Ž
assigned to Ar uptake Dallmeyer and Vil-
XS
leneuve, 1987; Hammerschmidt and Franz, 1992;
.
40
Hannula and McWilliams, 1995 . Ar incorpora-
XS
tion often occurs associated with a partial recrystalli-sation of high-pressure phengites during subsequentmetamorphism at lower temperature and pressure.High-temperature experiments during which mus-covite was subjected to high argon pressures indicatethat the gas may indeed be incorporated by the
Ž
mineral in appreciable amounts Karpinskaya et al.,
.
1961 .Our combined
40
Ar
r
39
Ar laser and induction fur-nace incremental heating study yielded excess argonplateau ages for post-tectonic, well-crystallised phen-gitic mica single grains from gneisses of the Mul-hacen Complex of the Internal Zone of the Betic
´
Cordilleras of southern Spain, in short Betic Zone
Ž .
Fig. 1 . Pronounced age discordance appeared forsamples taken only a few tens of metres apart, atthe sample scale and even in individual grains.High resolution transmission electron microscopy
Ž .
HRTEM and analytical electron microscopic
Ž .
AEM chemical analyses revealed that the datedmicas were affected by progressive late stage submi-croscopic illitisation. Reactions with fluids duringthorough recrystallization may have resulted in
40
Ar
XS
uptake.
2. Tectonic setting
The Betic Zone is made up of a stack of four
Ž .
nappe complexes, from top to bottom: 4 Malaguide
´
Ž . Ž .
Complex, 3 Alpujarride Complex, 2 Mulhacen
´ ´
Ž . Ž
Complex, 1 Veleta Complex Fig. 1; Egeler andSimon, 1969; Puga and Diaz de Federıco, 1978; de
´
.
Jong, 1993a . The southernmost External Zone hasbeen overthust by this nappe pile and crops out in
Ž .
windows as the very -low-grade metamorphic
Ž
Almagride Complex Fig. 1; Simon, 1987; de Jong,
´
.
1993a .The Mulhacen Complex underwent subduction-re-
´
lated high-pressure metamorphism during the early
Ž
Alpine tectonic history of the orogen Gomez-
´
Pugnaire et al., 1989; Bakker et al., 1989; de Jong,
.
1991, 1993a . The main tectono-metamorphic phaseD occurred during a marked decompression con-
2
comitant with cooling, which was followed by a late
Ž . Ž
stage reheating Fig. 2 . Geological constraints de
.
Jong, 1991, 1993a and the results of two-dimen-
Ž .
sional thermal modelling van Wees et al., 1992imply that the reheating is due to crustal and sub-crustal extension, which uplifted the mantle duringthe late Oligocene to earliest Miocene, whereas thesubsequent rapid cooling resulted from telescopingof the extensional structure in the Early Miocene.During the middle and late Miocene the easternBetic Zone was affected by further extension
Ž .
Garcıa-Duenas et al., 1992; Johnson et al., 1997
´ ˜
Ž
and widespread magmatism Fig. 1; Dibattistini etal., 1987; Delarouziere et al., 1988; Serrano, 1992;
`
.
Turner et al., 1999 . Late Neogene stocks and lava
Fig. 2. Pressure–temperature–time-deformation path of the Mul-hacen Complex based on
P
determinations by Bakker et al.
´
Ž . Ž .
1989 and de Jong 1991, 1993a , principally in mica schists and
Ž .
amphibolites. Glaucophane-in Maresch, 1977 ; Al–silicate triple
Ž .
point Holdaway and Mukhopadhyay, 1993 . The area of 
P
determinations of syn-D mineral assemblages is shaded. Note the
2
second thermal peak following reheating.

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